Iranian Opposition Figure Karrubi Allowed To Meet With Activist For First Time Since Arrest

Iranian authorities have allowed opposition figure Mehdi Karrubi, who has been under house arrest since 2011, to meet with an activist from his own party, the first such meeting in the past six years.

Karrubi's son, Hossein Karrubi, revealed the meeting in an October 19 interview with the Iranian news site Ensafnews.

He said the meeting took place last week following a decision by Iran's Supreme National Council.

"They took Esmail Doosti, a member of the central council of the National Trust Party to Karrubi last week," Hossein Karrubi said.

Karrubi, 79, along with former prime minister Mir Hossein Musavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard, were placed under house arrest in February 2011 for challenging the establishment over the disputed 2009 presidential vote and for highlighting human rights abuses.

They have not been officially charged, and were allowed only meetings with immediate family members.

Karrubi's son quoted the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council as saying that could change.

"A while ago [Ali] Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, had informed lawmakers [working] to remove the house arrest about this and told them: 'We want to take some friends to visit Karrubi and Musavi.'

"I’ve heard that the Supreme National Security Council has voted to gradually allow some to meet with Karrubi and Musavi," Karrubi's son said, adding, "They’ve started with Karrubi."

Health Problems

There was no immediate confirmation about the meeting from Iranian authorities.

Karrubi, a former speaker of parliament, has been hospitalized several times in recent months due to heart problems.

Musavi and Rahnavard are also suffering from health problems, their daughters have said.

Rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of the opposition figures.

Amnesty International has said that it was "high time" Iranian authorities ended their "unjust treatment" of Karrubi, Musavi, and Rahnavard.

"All three have been unjustly deprived of their liberty in a chilling illustration of Iran's zero tolerance approach to political dissent," the London-based watchdog's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Magdalena Mughrabi said in July.